Their annual cycle is broken up- into 4 main areas. Nesting nightly from mid June to the following March. Egg laying from around July to Nov. Chick raising from Sept to the following January & Moulting is generally Feb and March.
Daily – Little Penguins feed out at sea during daylight and return to the colony after dusk. Sometimes they have a call sign when they are close to shore to tell their partner they are home safely and food is on the way.
Food daily consists of small fish, krill & squid. At around 1kg in weight they can return after dark weighing 2kg ready to feed their family. They have a very strong beak and a rough tongue for holding slippery food. During their moult they have to feed up with enough food to last 3 weeks as they cannot go to sea.
Penguins have good sight and can see well under water for catching food. This is also the same on land so they look out for their nest and predators. They also have a clear eyelid that protects their eyes when under water.
Their hearing is also exceptional. It is especially good in water which transmits sounds better than in air. At night they sit on the rocks or nest entrance listening to what is going on around them.
Noises they make are broken into 4 areas. Barks to make contact at sea, Brays to protect territory and attract mates, Croons to let their neighbours know they are home, Peeping is the high pitched sound from chicks as they beg for food.
Feathers are a plenty. Believe it or not but Penguins have the most of any bird. Around 10,000 which is three to four times more than a flying bird. They are oily, stiff and overlapping to provide a waterproof coat at sea. The colour is like camouflage in the water, top half is dark to blend from above and the bottom (underneath) is light to blend in with the sunlit water above.
To be continued